Those who gave their lives 12 years ago while responding to the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil were honored in San Pedro on Wednesday during a ceremony held onboard the USS Iowa.
Three hundred forty-three firefighters, 60 police officers and eight paramedics were killed on 9/11.
“This is such an emotional day, a day of remembrance and sadness,” Mary Lou Lopez, of San Pedro, said.
Bells tolled at the exact time each plane crashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
“We all flash back to where we were,” Capt. Steve Tessier of the Los Angeles Fire Department said. ”Honoring those who gave all truly shows the brotherhood of the fire service.”
The names of 20 first responders were read during the ceremony.
Another 20 were scheduled to be read next year to continue the tradition in the hopes that future generations never forget.
“There’s a whole new generation that’s been born since then and we want to keep this memory and this history alive,” Sgt. Ryan Howley of the Port Police said.
“It’s days like this when we really look at what the American spirit is. The American spirit shines in times of trial and tribulation and that’s what we are remembering today. We came together as a nation on 9/11. We are coming together today to remember that time,” David Canfield of the USS Iowa said.
Battleship Iowa is open to the public seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For more information, go to http://www.pacificbattleship.com/.